Frank Balmer sat comfortably in his high-backed chair and gazed upon a photo. He looked up and said with a sunny smile, “I’m in a good place.”

Frank is aging in place, his home, an aged care facility, is nestled in a quiet suburban street, overlooking a leafy green park.

Port Pirie to Frank is many things. The town, now city, provided well for his family and offered a safe environment for him and his beloved wife, a Pirie girl, to raise and nurture their children. “That hasn’t changed” he said and “that’s a good thing”.

“I’m a born and raised Port Pirie and couldn’t be more proud of this place.” Frank recounted his many years with potted, perhaps embellished, stories and anecdotes. He spoke of the ‘glory days;’ the days’ of hustle and bustle on the wharf, in the railyards and at the aerodrome in the 1940’s when the war effort was in full swing and ‘the smelter’ chipped in.

The ‘company’ always chipped in. Frank reckons he doesn’t get out much now but when he does he values the friendliness of the community and the pace at which things get done. “We’ve seen tough times but there is change….the glory days are coming around again.”

If you were to tell Frank you were thinking of coming to Port Pirie he would tell you this; “Get here as quick as you can and stay…you will have no regrets.”

Frank has no regrets only memories, some vivid and some faded; and recollections of living a full life. He couldn’t be more proud to call Port Pirie home.

© Port Pirie Come See Change 2020
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